PRESS RELEASE – The Racers Swim Club had a small group of eight swimmers, but managed quite a few marked improvements at the Long Course PowerAid Barbados Invitational Swim Championship meet held May 23 -26.
The team placed 13 out of 17 teams and with no relay teams. All swimmers were encouraged to get back to their training programme with great enthusiasm and with new goals of gaining top eight times in each of their respective events next year.
The Racers Team consisted of six male and three female swimmers, including: Therron Herelle (7), Allandre Cross (10), Akim Ernest (10), Nicholas McLennon (14), Jonathan McLennon (17), Simran Gopee (8), Tamara Joseph (7), Shalini Joseph(10) and veteran swimmer and Coach, Bradford Worrell.
Head Coach and Team Manager of the travel team Dr. Diane Worrell had an exceptional outing with the small group. Coach Brad has been the lead training coach over the past eight weeks while the group prepared for the championship.
Many of our young group of Racers experienced Long Course (50 meter) swimming conditions for the first time and had a great first outing. The group proved that they can compete well and set times that bring them into the middle of the mix of swimmers.
Simran Gopee had a great first outing swimming events for the first time and achieving great benchmark times. Simran is on the Racers’ skill-driven, mini-competitive group geared towards advanced skills development and proved how strong the training is at that level by swims.
Therron Herelle , a recent graduate from mini’s, up to the Racers Blue group, traveled with only four weeks of training group experience under his belt. Therron has proven that he will not back down from the competition.
Allandre Cross 10 had improvements in all of his events with convincing wins in a number of his heats. Allandre and Therron have matched many of the veteran swimmers from their respective age groups from St. Lucia with only a short time in the pool.
The final Racers developing swimmers were Akim Ernest and Tamara Joseph. Both swimmers just returned to training after the RHAC Invitational Meet in mid-April. Akim and Tamara swim with heart and will definitely be in the mix of St. Lucian swimmers in this year’s Primary Schools Meet.
This was a great first outing for these newcomers to our sport, having only one or two years of swimming under their belt. The team dropped vast amounts of time from their previous best times and won heats. What was impressive about the group was that although most of them were seeded in Heat 1 or 2, of 5 or 6, each swimmers performance created competition for swimmers at the higher end of the pack.
The outstanding female swimmer of the team was 10-year-old Shilini Joseph. Shilini consistently outclassed the other St. Lucia-based swimmers in her age group. She had an improvement of 68.46 seconds in the 200 Freestyle event, dropping her time to 3:00.80 in a long course pool. She has the tenacity and training attitude to step up her game over the next months going into the Goodwill Games Meet in August, as the lead swimmer in the 9 – 10 girls for St. Lucia. Shilini swam in eight events in Barbados, achieving best times in four of the eight events, 50 Back, 100 Free, 50 Breast, 200 Free and swimming 200 IM and 100 Breast for the first time long course.
The Gold (senior) group suffered from a grueling weekend of back-to-back racing.
Coach Bradford Worrell, Jonathan and Nicholas McLennon swam a total of 30 races between the three, and despite being exhausted continued to have some outstanding swims with personal best times. Coach Brad is scheduled to represent St. Lucia at the CISC Championships in July and Commonwealth Games in Scotland in August. He is also in training for World Championships, Pan AM Games and will hopefully be a natural qualifier for the RIO Olympics in 2016.
Part of the nature of this meet was the opportunity to treat it as a part of training. The objective was to train swimmers’ bodies to deal with racing without rest. Swimming through this meet without taper gives an experienced swimmer an opportunity to stimulate training improvements and practice racing strategies.
The group’s next overseas meet is the Goodwill Games Meet to be held in Suriname in mid-August. Therron, Allandre, Akim, Shalini, Jonathan and Nicholas, along with Jorja Medrick and Omar Alexander, have all been preselected for that national travel team.